Things to do in Delft

About Delft

The must-see attractions in Delft include the historic Markt Square, the majestic New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), and the venerable Old Church (Oude Kerk). Visitors should also explore the Royal Delft Factory to discover the city’s iconic Delft Blue pottery, the Prinsenhof Museum for insights into Dutch history, and the Eastern Gate (Oostpoort) for its enchanting medieval architecture.
Delft caters to families with various kid-friendly options such as interactive workshops at the Science Centre Delft, playful discovery at the Vermeer Centrum with its engaging exhibits, and outdoor activities at the Delftse Hout park which offers playgrounds, animal encounters, and plenty of space to play and relax.
The best outdoor activities include strolling along Delft’s picturesque canals, relaxing in the Agathaplein with its public performances, and enjoying leisurely bike rides around the city’s many paths and lanes. For nature enthusiasts, the Botanical Garden at the Technical University of Delft provides lovely flora and tranquil settings.
For indoor enjoyment, visitors can admire the extensive art collections at the Vermeer Centrum, uncover the secrets of the Royal Delft Factory, delve into the city's past at the Museum Prinsenhof, and experience the informative exhibitions at the Science Centre Delft that are perfect for curious minds of all ages.
The best Delft tours include the self-guided "Delft Highlights" audio tour, the pottery-centered "Delft Artisans" tour, and the atmospheric "Delft at Night" experience. Cultural offerings like the "Delft’s Historical Pathways" audio tour accentuate the city’s storied past, while the "Innovative Delft" option provides a modern twist on classic sightseeing.
Popular museums in Delft are the Vermeer Centrum which celebrates the life and work of the great Dutch artist, the Royal Delft Factory’s museum that offers a deep dive into ceramic art, and the Museum Prinsenhof, showcasing pivotal historical narratives and Dutch artistry.
For rainy days in Delft, indoor audio tours like those of the Vermeer Centrum and the Royal Delft Factory allow visitors to appreciate cultural highlights while staying dry. Also, themed museum walks and historical building tours offer sheltered yet informative opportunities for exploration.
Short tours in Delft suited to tight schedules or those desiring a brief overview include the central Markt area walking tours and condensed audio-guided experiences focusing on specific attractions such as the Old Church or select parts of the university’s Botanical Garden.

Best Things to Do In Delft

Discover the charm of Delft with self-guided audio tours that unveil the city's rich heritage and culture.

Delft: New Church (Nieuwe Kerk)

What is it?
A grand Gothic church offering panoramic city views from its towering spire.
Why you should go?
The Nieuwe Kerk, distinguishable by its soaring spire, beckons visitors to delve into Delft's regal history and ascend to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the city. As the eternal guardian of the Dutch Royal Family's burial vault, the church's historical significance is paramount. Cultural enthusiasts will find the elaborate monuments and tombs within to be a testament to the nation's storied past, making it an unmissable site for those seeking to experience the best Delft excursions.

Delft: Prinsenhof Museum

What is it?
A former monastery turned museum tracing Delft's history and role in the Dutch Revolution.
Why you should go?
The Prinsenhof Museum, set in a historic complex that was both a monastery and a residence of William of Orange, presents a deep dive into the Golden Age and the upheavals that shaped the Netherlands. Exhibits detail Delft's part in pivotal historical moments, as well as its contributions to art and science. The museum's evocative architecture and the immersive storytelling of its displays make it an educational and visually arresting stop among the array of activities in Delft.

Delft: Botanical Garden TU Delft

What is it?
An oasis of biodiversity and a green haven that forms part of the Delft University of Technology.
Why you should go?
Revel in the tranquility of Delft's Botanical Garden, where nature enthusiasts can wander through beautifully maintained plant collections that offer a peaceful respite from city life. Boasting rare botanical specimens and facilitating research by the Delft University of Technology, the garden is not simply a place of beauty but also one of knowledge and discovery, presenting a living catalogue of flora that enhances the list of things to do in Delft.

Delft: Beestenmarkt

What is it?
A historic square known for its relaxed atmosphere and surrounded by cafes and eateries.
Why you should go?
Once a livestock market, Beestenmarkt has evolved into a beloved gathering spot framed by linden trees and characterized by its friendly vibe. Today's visitors can enjoy the plethora of dining options, sip on locally-brewed beers, and soak in the laid-back charm of the square. Socialize with the locals, partake in the many outdoor events held here, and understand why Beestenmarkt ranks amongst the best Delft tours for experiencing the city's convivial spirit.

Delft: The Armamentarium (Legermuseum)

What is it?
A historic building housing a vast collection of military uniforms, weapons, and artifacts.
Why you should go?
For history buffs, The Armamentarium, or Army Museum, offers a profound glimpse into centuries of military history. Exhibits provide a comprehensive look at the evolution of warfare, the life of soldiers, and the impact of conflicts on society. The museum not only displays varied collections but also resides within a historic arsenal building, making it a deeply immersive experience for those drawn to the richer and more complex narratives of Delft tours.

Delft: The Royal Delft Factory

What is it?
Authentic Delf pottery manufacturing site and museum with original blue and white ceramics.
Why you should go?
Step into the world of the centuries-old Delft blue pottery at the Royal Delft Factory. Witness master artisans at work, learn about the intricate production process, and explore a vast collection of this famous Dutch earthenware. A visit to the Royal Delft is not just about admiring beautiful ceramics; it's about experiencing a significant piece of Dutch cultural history that continues to thrive within the walls of the factory.

Delft: Oude Kerk

What is it?
The 'Old Church' of Delft, renowned for its leaning tower and beautiful stained glass windows.
Why you should go?
With its characteristic lean, the Oude Kerk is a beacon of Delft's architectural prowess. Dating back to the 13th century, the church houses outstanding art, including exquisite stained glass windows that cast vibrant patterns upon the ancient stones. Venture inside to behold the final resting places of famous historical figures, such as painter Johannes Vermeer, and to revel in the majestic ambiance of this sacred space that has watched over Delft for centuries.

Delft: Market Square (Markt)

What is it?
A bustling historic square in the heart of Delft, surrounded by iconic buildings and lively markets.
Why you should go?
Markt, the vibrant town square, is a pulsating hub of activity and one of the essential things to do in Delft. Encircled by historic facades, including the striking City Hall and the New Church, Markt is a tapestry of daily life and cultural events. Whether browsing through the weekly market for fresh local produce, enjoying a cup of coffee at a sidewalk café, or attending one of the city's vibrant festivals, Markt is the perfect starting point for a Delft excursion.

Delft: Vermeer Centrum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the life and work of Johannes Vermeer, Delft's most famous painter.
Why you should go?
Located in the city where Vermeer lived and painted, the Vermeer Centrum Delft offers an immersive dive into the world of the 17th-century Dutch master. Explore reproductions of his serene, light-filled paintings, learn about the techniques he used, and discover his impact on art and the city he loved. Direct insights into Vermeer's life and legacy make this center a pilgrimage site for art aficionados and a must-see for visitors keen on what to see in Delft.

Delft: Eastern Gate (Oostpoort)

What is it?
The last remaining city gate of Delft, Oostpoort, is an enchanting example of medieval architecture.
Why you should go?
As the sole survivor of the original city gates, Oostpoort stands as a picturesque monument to Delft's historical defenses. This fairy-tale structure with its twin towers, arched bridge, and water reflections offers a unique glimpse into the medieval past of the city. Today, it serves as a captivating subject for photographers and a serene gateway for those embarking on scenic walks along Delft's age-old canals, ranking high on the list of what to do in Delft.

TOP-5 Tours in Delft for First-Time Visitors

  • Explore the historic wonders and top things to see in Delft with our "Delft Highlights" audio tour, featuring iconic landmarks and hidden gems.
  • Indulge in the best things to do in Delft through the "Delft Artisans" audio tour, showcasing the city's renowned pottery and artistic legacy.
  • Join the "Delft at Night" audio tour to experience the magical evening ambiance of the city and discover fun things to do in Delft after dusk.
  • "Delft's Historical Pathways" audio tour takes visitors on a journey through the rich historical tapestry, highlighting essential places to visit in Delft.
  • The "Innovative Delft" audio tour offers insight into the city's modern advances, complementing the classical Delft activities with a futuristic twist.

Fun Things to Do in Delft with Kids

The playful heart of Delft beats strong with attractions that cater to the curious minds and lively spirits of children. For interactive learning and a hands-on approach to science, Science Centre Delft welcomes young explorers to delve into the world of technology and innovation with engaging exhibits and workshops. Here, creativity meets education, making it a top pick for family-friendly Delft activities. At the enchanting Agathaplein, puppet shows bring classic tales and local legends to life at the historic Puppet Theatre, creating a magical experience that captures the whimsy of childhood. Rounding out the trio, a visit to the Delftse Hout recreation area offers an abundance of open space for children to frolic and play. With its sprawling park, petting zoo, and waterside adventures, it’s an ideal locale to release energy and appreciate nature. These attractions offer a delightful snapshot of the many things to do in Delft that are perfect for the entire family to enjoy.

Things to Do in Delft with Family

Embarking on a family excursion in Delft presents a wonderful opportunity to bond and create lasting memories. The Delft Pottery De Delftse Pauw offers a fascinating look into the traditions of Dutch ceramics, where families can witness the art of Delft blue pottery firsthand and even try painting their own. It’s a creative and educational experience, illuminating one of the city's most famous artisan crafts. Another gem is the Vermeer Centrum Delft, which invites visitors of all ages to step into the world of the iconic painter with interactive displays that captivate the imagination and highlight the city’s rich artistic heritage. As an educational complement to the tours in Delft, the center is a hub for cultural exploration. Lastly, for a more active pursuit, hire bikes to traverse the picturesque canals and cobbled streets, stopping at serene parks and ice cream parlors along the way. Cycling in Delft is a joyous activity that showcases why the city is one of the top places to visit in Delft with family in tow.

Free Things to Do in Delft

Delft's charming streets and rich cultural scene offer numerous activities that families, solo travelers, and couples can enjoy without spending a cent. Take a leisurely walk through the historic Old Town, where you can admire the city's iconic architecture, from the Oude and Nieuwe Churches to the ancient gates and the Prinsenhof's beautiful courtyard. Delight in the town's enchanting ambiance, which artists capture in plein-air paintings along the canals. Another favorite is window-shopping along de Korte and Lange Geer streets, where beautifully displayed antiques and handcrafted goods epitomize Delft's artisanal spirit. For a respite from the city buzz, the serene Botanical Garden of the Technical University of Delft opens its gates to the public. Witness the blossoming diversity and scientific study of plant life, truly one of the most peaceful things to do in Delft. These select spots provide a taste of the best free things to do in Delft, ensuring memories are made, not bought.

Cheap Things to Do in Delft

Immersing oneself in the cultural fabric of Delft doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. For an affordable yet enriching experience, the Delft City Walk offers a self-guided stroll through the city's picturesque streets, leading to landmarks like the Old Church and the Eastern Gate. Interactive with the aid of an inexpensive guidebook, this tour is a prime example of things to do in Delft that combine exercise, education, and sightseeing. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the art market held every Saturday in the shadow of the City Hall, where local artists display their works – it's a budget-friendly way to soak in the local talent. For family-friendly fun, the scenic Delftse Hout park provides an open, green space perfect for picnics, playground adventures, and leisurely walks by the lake, all contributing to low-cost yet high-value Delft activities. Each of these attractions allows visitors to discover the best of Delft without stretching the wallet too thin.

Things to Do in Delft for Couples

Delft's romantic canals and historic charm create the perfect backdrop for couples seeking memorable experiences. Begin with a serene boat tour along the age-old canals; snuggle up as you glide past centuries-old houses and under picturesque bridges, discovering hidden gems and learning about the city's history. It's an essential part of any couple's things to do in Delft itinerary. Continue the romance with a visit to the Beestenmarkt, where you can enjoy a delightful meal or a sweet treat at one of the many quaint cafés lining the square. The ambiance is perfect for lovebirds looking to indulge in the local flavor while enjoying each other's company. As the sun sets, take a walk hand-in-hand through the cobbled streets to the illuminated Markt Square, which hosts the majestic New Church and the historic City Hall. The Market by night is a magical experience, often touted as one of the top Delft activities for couples, turning a simple evening stroll into an enchanting adventure.

Things to Do in Delft at Night

As twilight descends upon Delft, the city takes on a new persona, brimming with nocturnal activities that cater to every interest. Couples and friends can launch their evening at one of the many local breweries, where they can savor a pint of craft beer while soaking in the city's vibrant nightlife—a must-do for any aficionado of hop-based beverages. Continuing with the theme of culinary delights, the Beestenmarkt offers a plethora of dining options. Here, amidst the buzz of conversation and the clinking of glasses, visitors can indulge in international cuisines or traditional Dutch snacks under a canopy of stars. For a dose of culture, pursue an evening Delft tour that guides you through illuminated landmarks and imparts tales of history and mystery, enveloping explorers in the magic of the city under the night sky. These attractions showcase the array of things to do in Delft at night, promising an unforgettable nocturnal adventure in the heart of the Netherlands.